Heartburn is an extremely uncomfortable feeling. It can seem like your chest is on fire, and when this sensation comes out of the blue, it can be incredibly frightening. Heartburn often makes an appearance after you’ve eaten a big meal, especially one that is particularly greasy or fatty.

Despite the name, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. It is actually a symptom of acid reflux, where stomach acid is pushed up into your esophagus, causing a burning sensation in your throat and chest. And it’s more common than you might think, with 7% of American adults experiencing symptoms of heartburn every single day. The causes of heartburn are usually related to your diet, but other triggers can be heavy smoking, pregnancy, and alcohol consumption.

Heartburn is usually nothing to worry about, and it’s rarely a symptom of anything serious. Nevertheless, it can be an incredibly uncomfortable and painful sensation. If you regularly suffer from heartburn and are looking for a remedy to help you, here are a few tips to help you relieve the unpleasant symptoms.

Watch your eating habits

Heartburn usually occurs after meals, and evidence suggests that the size of your meals and the speed at which you eat can all play a part. Acid reflux often occurs when there is too much pressure on the esophageal sphincter, causing stomach acid to pass through the opening. Eating smaller quantities of food and eating it more slowly will put less pressure on it and reduce the likelihood of heartburn symptoms appearing. Be more mindful about your eating habits and try to chew every bite thoroughly before swallowing.

Lose weight

Heartburn is a much more frequent occurrence in people who are overweight. In healthy people, their stomach muscles are likely to be stronger and function better, reducing the risk of acid reflux. By losing weight and improving your fitness, you will greatly reduce your chances of experiencing uncomfortable heartburn symptoms. If you are overweight, set yourself a goal to shed some pounds. Eat a healthier diet, and try to do at least thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day.

Avoid certain foods

In many cases, it is specific foods that make heartburn worse. This varies from person to person, but common offenders are raw onion, citrus, and fizzy drinks. Drinking alcohol and caffeine is also a common cause. Keep track of everything you eat and when the heartburn symptoms occur. Before long, you may be able to spot a pattern related to certain foods. Once you know what makes your heartburn worse, you can start eliminating these items from your diet.

Change your sleeping position

Many people experience the worst symptoms of heartburn at night. Studies have shown that your sleeping position has a big impact on the severity and frequency of these symptoms. Try keeping your head elevated and sleeping on your right side for a more comfortable night.

Try medication

If none of these natural remedies seems to be working, there are medications you can take that will relieve the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. Antacids can neutralize stomach acid, while medicines like H2 blockers can actually reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes. 

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